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Because everyone needs coping skills

Everyone knows how to cope with good news.

We celebrate by meeting with family and friends, eating and drinking, spending money, and talking endlessly about our joys and accomplishments. Getting good news is a breeze.

But, what do we do with bad news? How do we cope with drama, tragedy, accidents, failures and now this worldwide pandemic?

Now, more than ever, we will have to cope with huge changes in our daily lives. This article is in no way being written as a lecture or criticism of others. Perhaps we can all increase our personal coping skills so we won’t be blindsided when the next situation arises for which have little, if any, control. I’ll credit my parents with teaching me how to cope.

They faced The Great Depression and World War II and were made to cope with the most difficult situations.

They raised their three children to be self-reliant, to expect to work if we wanted to be successful in life, to practice healthy living, to raise and grow our own food, and to do a wide variety of skills.

My grandmother, Edna Gibbs, raised 10 children with the mantra, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”

She often repeated other sayings like, “The less said the less to mend,” “I’m Jes,s I’ll stay out of the mess,” and “This too shall pass.” Mama Gibbs also taught us how to grow a garden, raise chickens, preserve food, stretch a dollar, slaughter chickens and pigs, be a positive and much-loved role model to the community, and so much more.

My family was not the only one using these life skills. It was a way of life in Leoma when I was a youngster and remains in practice today.

Evidently, not everyone was taught coping skills.

We are told there are three major categories of coping: active, passive, and avoidance. This would be a good time for everyone to take some time to reflect on your own coping skills and ask yourself if you are actively coping, passively coping, or avoiding?

Here are a few of my coping skills (not in any order of importance):

(1) Cleaning closets.

(2) Dusting all furniture really well.

(3) Sewing various projects like making quilts to be given to veterans and designing and constructing dresses, skirts, and tops for myself and others.

(4) Clearing clutter from my home by taking a trash a bag from room to room, finding some items I can throw away and tossing. I make it a point to throw away five items a day for 30 days, or set some other goal. The last time I did this, I threw out 1,000 items such as old shoes, broken coat hangers, junk mail, worn out dust rags, nearly empty food containers in my frig, and on and on.

(5) Clean all light fixtures and ceiling fans really well.

(6) Wash all curtains.

(7) Change sheets on all beds, wash and flip mattresses over.

(8) Wash my car outside and inside.

(9) Plant some herbs, flowers, or vegetables in an indoor pot.

It is always fun to watch nature in action.

(10) Sort shoes and clothes and place in three piles: keep, repair, and donate.

(11) Clean the frig and stove.

(12) Listen to upbeat music.

(13) List 100 things for which I am thankful.

(14) List 15 positive qualities about myself and three people I know or every family member.

(15) Paint a room or a piece of furniture.

(16) Play an instrument. In my case it is a piano.

(17) Watch movies.

(18) Watch YouTube.

(19) Read or listen to books.

(20) Crochet a blanket or bag.

(21) Learn a new skill.

(22) Cook a great recipe and make enough for two meals: one to eat now and one to freeze for later.

(23) Write your own thoughts in a journal. Describe what life is like in the “time of coronavirus.”

(24) Exercise.

(25) Do not allow yourself to think negative thoughts. Even if you have to yell, “Stop!” out loud to yourself, do not let yourself fall into a depressive pit.